Booking.com Reveals Most Welcoming Towns and Cities in the UK to Inspire Your Next ‘Staycation’
With staycations holidays predicted to boom again this year, there hasn’t been a better time to start planning for your next UK adventure. Whether it’s being immersed in beautiful sceneries or enchanting landscapes, Booking.com reveals the most welcoming towns and cities in the UK as part of its Traveller Review Awards 2022*. These unique one-of-a-kind experiences have been selected for consistently providing outstanding hospitality to travellers, so why not welcome the idea of a staycation for your next trip.
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Rich in history and surrounded with picturesque scenery, watersides and natural beauty, Enniskillen is one of the largest towns in County Fermanagh, located almost exactly in the centre of Northern Ireland. Serving as the ideal base to explore the wonderful charm of County Fermanagh, guests will not be disappointed by the range of places to visit and experience. From the many impressive castles and museums to tasteful galleries and cosy cafes, you will be able to sense Enniskillen’s unique character everywhere you go.
Where to stay: Set in the heart of the stunning Fermanagh Lakelands, Lough Erne Resort is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a long day of exploring the rich history of Enniskillen. This 5-star luxury resort boasts 2 championship golf courses, an infinity pool, a sauna, steam room, gym, and a Thai spa offering massages, beauty treatments, and traditional Thai therapies to guests. All rooms include luxurious furnishings for the ultimate comfort and offer beautiful lake views. There are 400 acres of grounds to be explored, including walking and jogging trails, and even fishing, so guests can take full advantage of the stunning scenery.
Experience over 10,000 years of history with a visit to Kirkwall, Orkney. Set in the Orkney Islands off of Scotland’s north coast, Kirkwall is a busy town full of character and rich with ancient Norse and Viking history. Visitors can enjoy some of the most spectacular landscapes in the UK, embracing the fresh Orkney air and find comfort in never being short of things to do, with the friendly locals helping travellers feel immediately at home. So, whether it’s a cultural escape in Viking heritage or an adventure out in the wilderness experiencing local wildlife and fantastic walks, this beautiful town has an abundance on offer.
Where to stay: Overlooking Kirkwall harbour is family-run Ayre Hotel & Apartments, offering traditionally styled rooms for a homely visit. Enjoy a peaceful night’s stay in one of Orkney’s finest stays, with the option to stay in newly developed, spacious apartments for a true home away from home experience or cosy hotel rooms for a stress-free stay. Discover dishes cooked using fresh, local produce in the hotel’s restaurant, including Orkney Lamb, steaks and freshly caught fish, alongside homemade desserts. Expect traditional Orkney hospitality, with guests rating this accommodation very highly for its friendly and welcoming staff.
Ballycastle, County Antrim
The well-loved and charming town of Ballycastle is situated in Country Antrim, surrounded by outstanding natural beauty including multiple forests, lakes, glens and ancient rocks. The quaint town is the perfect place for a relaxing break, within reach of sandy beaches, Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway, and whiskey distilleries to explore. Ballycastle is rich in history, with over 50 listed buildings, and famous for the 17th century old Ould Lammas Fair, which celebrates harvest and attracts over 150,000 people each August, and even a hot spot for Game of Thrones enthusiasts, with a short drive to iconic Game of Thrones film sites, including Ballintoy Harbour and The Dark Hedges.
Where to stay: Why not try something unique with a cosy night in Fair Head Glamping Pods, set in a beautiful private farmland in Bellycastle. With a stunning ocean view, overlooking Fair Head, the luxury pods are well-equipped and fully furnished, providing you with all the home comforts you need, at the heart of nature. Fill your days with breath taking views, delicious food and plenty of sight-seeing and return to your luxurious Ballycastle camping pods, uniquely styled with warmth, charm and character, the perfect place to reset and reconnect with love ones.
Frome is a town full of charm and vibrance and is known for its community spirit. The town is jam-packed with culture, with a thriving art and food scene, which can be experienced at the many antique and vintage shops, independent café’s and restaurants, and in its entirety on the first Sunday of each month when the entire town transforms into a mini festival celebrating Frome’s heritage with local food, drink, artists and street entertainment. A town leading the way with their anti-loneliness scheme and bringing share shops and co-working spaces to the community, is sure to make anyone feel at home.
Where to stay: The luxury bed and breakfast Stay at Penny’s Hill is the ultimate comforting stay when visiting Frome. Set in a 200-year-old converted watermill, which once produced flour for the village and surround area for centuries, the bed and breakfast offers guests the freedom of the beautiful house, providing their famous fresh, home-cooked breakfast and the beautiful view of the brook and private riverbank. The house welcomes guests from across the world, boasting character through its warm, welcoming staff and comfortable rooms.
As the capital of Shetland, Lerwick is one not to be missed. Step back in time to explore the Broch of Clickimin, soak in the beautiful harbour and coastal views available at the Knab, or spot seabirds and seals while touring around Bressay. Why not head out down the quirky narrow streets of Lerwick to find the vibrant bar and restaurant scene. Perhaps even order some of the fresh fish available, with more fish landed in the area than the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined!
Where to stay: Explore the wonders of Lerwick with a stay in family-owned guest house Norlande. A charming guest house highly rated for the friendly and personable service, Norlande will cater to your every need. Surrounded by gardens and located in a quiet street, yet a short walk to the centre, you will be sure to return home rested after staying at this property.
Once the largest herring port in Europe, sitting astride the River Wick, Wick has many close connections to the sea which can be explored throughout the museums, coastal walks and local boat trips in the area. Made up of two towns, Wick Proper and Pultneytown, Wick is home to many castles and spectacular coasts, ready to be explored. Take a trip to the local whiskey distillery to see how Scotland’s ‘water of life’ is made, with whiskey inspired by the sea, or venture out to some of the local restaurants and bars to get a taste of the local cuisine.
Where to stay: Situated on a family-owned farm in Wick, Caithness View Luxury Farm Lodges is the wholesome break you need. Each beautiful chalet is equipped with two cosy bedrooms, a kitchen, barbeque, and dining area. Enjoy your private balcony with mountain views and take full advantage of the gardens and working farm witnessing the sheering of the sheep and ploughing of the fields. With acres of south facing farmland for you to explore and an opportunity to venture out and enjoy hiking within close proximity of the chalet, this is the perfect place to recharge and enjoy a simpler way of life.
*The “Most Welcoming Cities in the UK’: Destinations were sorted by the total share of Traveller Review Award 2022 recipients when compared to the total amount of eligible properties in that city or region (accommodation only). Destinations had to have at least 50 award recipients in each city to be included in this list and were sorted by the highest share of winners per destination.